12 Things That We Absolutely Can't Wait to Try In Baltimore This Summer

If anyone was previously unconvinced of the food and drink renaissance sweeping through Baltimore, the vast number of new restaurants and bars plus unique events and creative brews should certainly seal the deal. This spring and summer Baltimore has such an unbelievable explosion of newness in nearly every corner of town that even we are almost overwhelmed! Who needs to get out of town when exploring your own city can be comfortable and new all at once? Start making your summer plans now.

Boathouse (2809 Boston St.; 410-773-9795)
Just opened at the end of April, Boathouse took over the prime waterfront spot that previously housed Bay Cafe. The expansive restaurant and bar is gleamingly renovated and sports a mainly casual menu, pleasantly heavy on seafood and reasonable in cost. One of the first in town to spread the word that they have Flying Dog’s newest Baltimore seasoning inspired beer on tap (more on that later!), and with Facebook posts even before opening about their cocktails, this drink focused bar looks like it could be one of our favorite places to happy hour al fresco this summer.

Papi’s (1703 Aliceanna St.; 410-299-8480)
Just off busy Broadway in Fell’s Point, Charlie Gjerde’s newest bar and restaurant that just recently opened, Papi’s, serves up Mexican street food in a cozy atmosphere. Wash down your tacos with some margaritas or cervezas either inside at the bar or hightop tables, or outside where the people watching is prime.

Barcocina (1629 Thames St.; 410-563-1500)
Barcocina in Fell’s Point is the newest venture by the owners of Bond Street Social whose vision for this waterfront gem includes elevated Mexican style food and handmade cocktails with fresh juices (no button operated sprays here). Not only are there numerous outside tables overlooking the water, but the building has been renovated to include wide opening windows that allow diners inside to enjoy the gorgeous weather as well. In its infancy, with only a couple weeks under its belt, a packed house early on a recent Saturday night in this very large bar and restaurant suggests this will become a tenured favorite in the neighborhood.

Le Garage Beer Bar and Frites (911 W. 36th St.; 410-243-6300)
This charming new French eatery in Hampden specializes in affordable and simple French fare with an eye toward affordability. Opened by Sarah Acconcia, known for her work as a sous chef at Maggie’s Farm and her creation of tempting fare as executive chef at 13.5%, this restaurant, newly opened at the end of April, has a unique beer list focused on local craft breweries as well as French and Belgian beers. The wine list is true to the restaurant’s concept, offering only French wine. What else would you want to pair with your frites or tartine?

Parts and Labor (2600 N Howard St.; 443-873-8887)
Is the fourth time a charm, too? It looks more than promising. If you haven’t gotten enough of Spike Gjerde’s amazing concepts (We know we haven’t. See: Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact Coffee and Shoo Fly Diner), you are in luck. Gjerde’s newest adventure, housed in Remington, is a butchery and restaurant serving up all varieties of meats, many of them lesser known, along with some favorite items from Woodberry Pantry. Nosh on some charcuterie and other tasty bites at the restaurant or purchase any of the products to take home. Oh, and let’s not overlook the most important part - 20 beers and ciders on tap, and growlers to take home.

Cafe Cito (3500 Chestnut St.; 443-682-9700)
This corner cafe in Hampden features mainly salads and sandwiches, but the talk of the town is their spring vegetable paella. Opened by David Sherman, previously of Nasu Blanca, the 30 seat restaurant has initially opened for breakfast and lunch until 3 p.m., but intends to include dinner service next. Many who have already visited in the first few weeks are beyond excited about the offering of Stumptown Coffee. Equally exciting is its BYOB status which gives the perfect reason to hit up Hampden’s The Wine Source beforehand who has a pretty amazing selection of beer and wine, as well as single beers to make a six pack, or even growlers of your favorite local craft beer.

Farmstead Grill and Shack
Canton Crossing has been all the buzz for many months with its many new food and retail offerings right on Boston Street (with plenty of parking) and Farmstead’s impending opening will only keep people talking. Renowned local chef Jerry Pellegrino has a hand in this new farm to table concept owned by Charles Nasbit which means that we can hope to see a pretty impressive wine list. The Grill will be a 200 seat restaurant with casual fare, while the Shack will be the takeout portion of the operation. Drink lovers, don’t fear, though. Both have the same liquor license, so have a beer or glass of wine while you’re waiting for your takeout.

Blue Pit BBQ and Whiskey (1601 Union Ave.; 443-948-5590)
Blue Pit had us at “45 whiskeys.” Add a beer garden, handcrafted cocktails, and a boatload of canned beers, and we could spend all summer here. Blue Pit has a limited menu currently including sausage, a cheese board and house cured corned beef for an epic reuben, but the barbeque will begin being served this summer.

Aggio (614 Water St.; no phone yet)
So you don’t want to drive all the way to Frederick to try the James Beard nominated cuisine at Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt? You’re in luck. After already opening four restaurants in Frederick, Voltaggio is branching out and opening a fun Italian concept restaurant, Aggio, in Baltimore at a Power Plant Live! location. The same restaurant is already operating in D.C. with exceptional reviews including one that calls the wine list “cheeky.” Look forward to the opening mid-summer.

Lobo (1900 Aliceanna St.)
This Fell’s Point restaurant and bar is slated to open mid-summer with Jamie Hubbard, General Manager of Fell’s Point’s One Eyed Mike’s, at the helm. While few details have been released, this upcoming corner bar is slated to serve top notch food from an as yet unnamed “talented chef” and we can only guess that someone who comes from the nation’s first bar dedicated to Grand Marnier is going to have a pretty impressive cocktail program.

Johnny Sanchez (1525 Russell St.)
As if having a multitude of chefs with James Beard Award nominations or who placed highly in national and televised competitions wasn’t enough for Baltimore, the new upcoming casino in the city, Horseshoe, has attracted renowned chefs John Besh and Aaron Sanchez who are collaboratively opening a new taqueria within the casino this summer. Focused on the use of fresh and local ingredients, the restaurant will also feature mezcal, tequila, bourbon and various domestic and local beer. The opening will be toward the latter end of the summer, but it sounds like it will be worth the wait.

Dead Rise from Flying Dog Brewery
Flying Dog already produces an impressive line of brews but their latest is a true shout out to one of Baltimore’s finest creations, Old Bay. Dead Rise, their latest release, is a summer ale brewed with the iconic spice that is clearly not just for crabs anymore. Just released, not only is this beer a smooth and balanced ale on its own, it will be the perfect pairing for all things crab this summer. As though just making a delicious beer isn’t enough, Flying Dog specifically brewed this ale to help provide funding to the organization True Blue which supports the Maryland Blue Crab industry. Do good. Drink this beer.

 

 


Tags: Beer, Bourbon, Cocktails, Dinner, Food, Outdoor Seating, Spirits, Whiskey, Wine
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